67 year old Howard J. Lilley stands and listens as his punishment is read to him as handed down by a Polk County Jury.
Lilley Sentenced to 18 Years, LIVINGSTON, July 9, 2014 - It took a Polk County Jury less than two hours to deliberate on the punishment for defendant Howard J. Lilley. The decision was swift and the punishment harsh as Lilley was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the crime of indecency with a child sexual contact. The verdict of guilty was handed down earlier in the morning in District Judge, Kaycee Jones' 411th District Court. His punishment was handed down shortly after 4 pm. Prosecutor, Beverly Armstrong urged the jury to not give probation but to hand down prison time and "go high". The sentencing was between two and twenty years. "This has been going on for years" Armstrong told the jury. "Finally, he's been stopped". "His victims will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives, so go high". Referring to the possibility of probation, Armstrong stated, "He can't be fixed". "He's done this over, and over, and over again, and he'll continue to do it over, and over, and over again". "Rehabilitation will not help him, so go high". "Give him at least 15 years, heck give him 20 years, he deserves it".
Defense Attorney, Tom Brown explained to the jury that it's not his place to tell them how to decide and that they've heard all the evidence and it's now in their hands. When the verdict of 18 years was read, Lilley stood still and seemingly emotionless. Lilley must serve a minimum of 9 years before he'll be eligible for parole.
Original Story Below
Former Justice of the Peace, Howard J. Lilley (right) sits with his Lawyer, Tom Brown in Judge Kaycee Jones' 411th District Court in Livingston on June 8, 2014.
Trial Underway for Former Justice of the Peace, LIVINGSTON, July 8, 2014 - Shortly after 9 am on July 8, 2014, the trial of former Polk County Justice of the Peace, Howard J. Lilley got underway in Judge Kaycee Jones' 411th District Court. Lilley is facing the charge of indency with a child by contact. The alleged crime took place around October and November of 2011. The alleged victim was a girl who was 10 years old at the time. Prosectutor Beverly Armstrong with the Polk County District Attorney's Office told a jury that after presentation of their case that they would have only one conclusion and that is that the defendant was guilty. Defense Attorney, Tom Brown, countered that the prosecution's case was filled with holes. The child disclosed to her mother in November of 2011 that Lilley had touched her breasts, and asked to touch them during a shoulder massage that Lilley offered to the girl when she was at his house. The child took the witness stand and struggled to talk about it. During questioning, she told Armstrong and the jury how Lilley offered her a shoulder massage and that she agreed. She stated that he starting putting his hands under her shirt, and then under her bra. She stated that he asked to "touch those things" (referring to the child's breasts). She also stated that he would touch her breasts when they would hug.
When the child's mother took the witness stand, she spoke of how the her daughter, after the child's outcry, became depressed, angry, and even cut herself in an apparent state of depression. The child's parents sought counseling to help her deal with the anguish, and that the counseling helped.
After an initial investigation into the allegations, a warrant was executed for Lilley's arrest and he was booked into Polk County Jail in January of 2011. If found guilty, Howard J. Lilley is facing from 2 - 20 years in prison for the alleged crime. The case is expected to conclude later this week.
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